(AFP) — Norway’s data protection agency said on Tuesday it would start fining Facebook and Instagram owner Meta nearly $100,000 per day for defying a ban on using users’ personal information to target ads.
The Norwegian watchdog, Datatilsynet, said Meta would be fined one million kroner ($97,000) per day, starting August 14.
Tobias Judin, head of Datatilsynet’s international department, said the fine related to a decision made on July 14, where the agency had temporarily “imposed a ban on behavioural advertising on Facebook and Instagram”.
“Meta’s behavioural advertising entails intrusive surveillance of its users, negatively impacting their right to data protection and freedom of information,” Judin said in an email, adding that there were many vulnerable groups on the platforms, such as “young people, the elderly and people with cognitive disabilities”.
“We are also concerned that sensitive personal data may be used for advertising purposes.
“We have therefore found that Meta’s practices are contrary to data protection law,” Judin continued.
Vi nedlegger midlertidig forbud mot at Meta kan tilpasse reklame basert på overvåking og profilering av brukere i Norge. Forbudet varer i første omgang til oktober. https://t.co/QdXmuhO4EQ
— Datatilsynet (@Datatilsynet) July 17, 2023
Datatilsynet announced the ban on July 17 and originally said that Meta had until August 4 to take corrective measures. “The coercive fine is issued because Meta has not yet complied with our ban,” Judin said.
The social media giant said last week it intends to ask users in the European Union, EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland to give their consent before allowing targeted advertising on its networks.
European regulators in January had dismissed the previous legal basis — “legitimate interest” — Meta had used to justify gathering users’ personal data for targeted advertising.